By Mike Jones
This adorable owl looks too-wet-to-woo as it enjoys a shower during torrential rainfall.
The bird was perched on a barn roof on farmland in Worcestershire when it was snapped cleaning itself by professional photographer, Pete Walkden.
The 44-year-old, from Birmingham, who is a wildlife photography tour guide, has followed the antics of this particular owl family for two years.
He said: “Little owls are great subjects for photography because they hunt both day and night, and will run, hop and fly around in pursuit of their prey.
“Like other creatures that eat worms, they don’t appear to mind the rain, which is not something many people associate with owls, believing them to only ever hunt in dry conditions.
“In sudden heavy showers, the owls will perch out, open their wings and ruffle their feathers, to use the falling rain to wash.
“I have seen them do this now several times, and both young and adults seem to instinctively do it if the rain is hard enough.
“I assume that they get rather dusty when digging for food on the ground, or when they’re roosting in the barn, and I’ve seen clouds of dust float away from them when they shake their feathers.
“For the owls, I initially used a quiet mode on the camera in case I spooked them, but soon realised they weren’t bothered by the sound of the camera’s shutter.
“Even though they’re wild birds, I do become attached to them, and it is sad when the youngsters leave at the end of each breeding season, as I miss watching them grow and explore the farm.”